I was invited last month by the Italian Trade Agency to attend the Immagine Italia Lingerie Market in Florence as their guest. What a gruesome fate, I thought, to be flown halfway across the world and put up at a hotel in an ancient city center, surrounded by crumbling old cathedrals and cavernous municipal art collections, with nothing to eat but noodles and chianti. But, as you know, my pursuit of fine lingerie is unceasing.
Compared to the Paris show, Florence offered less of the full cup engineering we specialize in–until recently Italian bra-sizing ran simply from one to five! Their strengths are in gorgeous fabrics, elegant loungewear and state-of-the-art shapewear. Italy also has excellent seamstresses, and many of the brands we looked at were 100% Italian made, from fabric to finish.
Italian brands are heavily shaped by their long tradition of textile mills that produce some of the world’s finest knits and woven fabrics. Love of texture, pattern and color is in the air they breath.